top of page
Climate Emergency

Legislative Report - Week of 3/6

Climate Emergency Priorities

Other CE Bills

Clean Energy

Clean Building

Equity and Environmental Justice

Interstate 5 Bridge Project

Oregon Economic Analysis 

Oregon Treasury

Climate Related Lawsuits: Oregon and…

Climate Priorities

By Claudia Keith


The League has identified six priority CE policy and budget topics. Find in previous LR reports additional background on each priority. Following are updates on those six topics: 


1. Natural and Working Lands: Establishes Natural and Working Lands (NWL) Fund, carbon sequestration opportunities…: Natural Climate Solutions SB 530. Public Hearing was 2/15/23 in SEN E&E. The League provided supportive testimony. Read Oregon Chapter American Planning Association testimony. Sen Dembrow and OGWC Chair MacDonald testified. Here are the meeting materials. Climate Change Solutions  | Newsletter | EESI: “ It's farm bill season on Capitol Hill”.


2. Resilient Buildings (RB): Refer to the adopted Legislative Joint Task Force on Resilient Efficient Buildings (REB) Dec 13 Report. The League is an active RB coalition partner. BR campaign guiding principles. SB 868, 869, 870 and 871 were posted 2/9. Find additional LR by Arlene Sherrett below.


3. Environmental Justice (EJ): 2023 Leg bills. The League joined the Worker Advocate Coalition on 2/13 and SB 593 is one of two bills the League will follow and support. The ‘Right to Refuse dangerous work’ SB907 was posted 2/15. 


4. Oregon Climate Action Commission (currently Oregon Global Warming Commission): Roadmap, SB 522, will change "Oregon Global Warming Commission" to "Oregon Climate Action Commission" and modify membership and duties of commission and state greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets/goals. League Testimony. PH was 2/21, highlights: Sen Dembrow’s “ OGWC Modernization Presentation“ and American Planning Association testimony.


5. Other Governor Climate / Carbon Policy Topics: See 20-04 Executive Order topics. This area includes other GHG emission mitigation/reductions and new clean renewable energy (DOE), OHA public health, and ODOT (Dept of Transportation) policy and funding bills.


6. CE related total 2023-2025 biennium budget: The governor’s budget* was published Jan 31; Kotek’s budget priorities. A main funding problem concerns how the favorable ending current period balance, estimated to be >$765M, can be used. It will take a 3/5 vote to pass this proposed change. We provided testimony on the Oregon Dept. of Energy (ODOE) budget (HB 5016), requesting additional agency requests that were not included in the Governor’s budget.


Other CE Bills - Supporting


By Claudia Keith


HB 2763 Creates a State public bank Task Force with Rep Gamba, Sen Golden, Rep Walters. The League provided testimony. Work Session was scheduled for March 9 w -1 amendment.


Other CE Bills – May Support


By Claudia Keith


The League may support or just follow these bills. This is a preliminary list.


Natural Working Lands: See Rep Pham’s urban forestry bill, HB 3016, Rep Holvey’s severance tax bill, HB 3025 to replace the harvest tax, and ODF’s Regular Harvest tax bill, HB 2087. SB 88 climate smart Ag increases net carbon sequestration and storage in natural and working lands. Requested: Senate Interim Committee on Natural Resources and Wildfire Recovery. See Keep Oregon Cool, Natural Working Lands. 


Green Infrastructure: HB 3016 community green infrastructure, Rep Pham K, Senator Dembrow, Rep Gamba. Public & Green Banking: SB501 Bank of the state of Oregon Sen Golden.


Clean Energy

By Greg Martin


Senate E&E moves SB 852

The committee unanimously moved SB 852 to the Senate floor with subsequent referral to Joint W&M. The 11-line bill requiring ODOE to "establish a program to provide assistance related to energy projects and activities to environmental justice communities" carries a fiscal impact estimate of $390,315 for hiring one permanent, full-time Operations and Policy Analyst 3 as a "community navigator" who would reach out to connect local and tribal governments and community-based organizations with EJ communities and the technical and financial energy resources they need.



Clean Buildings

By Arlene Sherrett


The House Climate, Energy and Environment Committee will hold work sessions this week on both HB 3166 and HB 3056. HB 3166 a whole-home energy savings program will offer rebates for installing various electric energy high-efficiency devices and will establish a one stop for much needed information on incentives and technical assistance. HB 3056 extends funding for the heat pump grant and rebate program.


Resilient Buildings (RB) is a priority for the League and this week we saw draft text for SB  868, 869, 870 sent out on Feb 27, 2023. All the bills follow closely with the intent in the one-pagers sent out from Senator Lieber’s office the first part of February. Unfortunately, there is no place online to access the draft bills but information on the background of each bill is available at the Building Resilience website. Access to the task force mailing list is available through Nora Apter at and you can email me at I will be glad to forward them to you. SB 871 the State Building energy efficiency bill will come soon. The RBC coordinator estimates that the  Senate Energy and Environment hearing will be in mid-March. Refer to the adopted Legislative Joint Task Force on Resilient Efficient Buildings (REB) Dec 13 Report for background.


Equity and Environmental Justice

By Arlene Sherrett


SB 852 will be up for a work session in Senate Energy and Environment this week. The bill directs the Department of Energy to establish a program especially for EJ communities to provide assistance with energy projects and activities. The bill had afirst public hearing Feb 21. 


The following bills include special provisions for Environmental Justice Communities but may not be exclusively targeted to the needs of those communities. 


Interstate 5 (I5) Bridge Project

By Liz Stewart


Interstate 5 (I-5) Bridge project is estimated to cost approximately $6 billion and will be funded using federal and state funds from both Oregon and Washington, as well as tolling. To date, the final design has not been agreed upon. Information on the project and an FAQ can be found at 

Frequently Asked Questions | I-5 Bridge Replacement Program.



There was a Public Hearing scheduled for February 28 at 5 p.m. on bills related to rail transportation in Oregon, and a Joint Committee meeting on transportation funding in Oregon on March 2 that may likely touch on the topic of the I-5 bridge as well.


The Interstate Bridge Replacement Project is in its second round of assessment after the first plans received criticism from several sources. The latest proposal for the bridge is called the Modified Locally Preferred Alternative

Right now, the project is waiting on an environmental review and this LWVOR report will be updated as soon as anything comes out.

Next steps from Program Administrator Gregory Johnson:

  • 1. The program’s Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement will be available for public review and comment during a formal public comment period anticipated in 2023.

  • 2. The program will refine and update the cost estimate and financial plan to reflect the key elements identified in the endorsed Modified LPA.

  • 3. An updated financial plan is anticipated in early 2023.

  •  Sign up for email on IBR project website to find background on the project or get involved: IBR has several public groups formed to give input on the project. Find out about participation at public meetings here and here.

  • Criticisms on the first proposal:

    • Money:  $ 5 -7.5 Billion

    • Some legislators feel the work could be done in phases so costs could be spread out over time.

    • Design: 4% slope is very steep for bikers, walkers and rollers.

  • Height of passage under the bridge doesn’t meet what the coast guard sees as needed.

  • Will light rail be included? Although IBR project leaders seem to agree on including light rail, other public figures have weighed in in dissent. Clark County residents did vote to exclude Light rail during the failed Columbia River Crossing Project a decade ago.

  • Increasing GHG Emissions: More lanes, more GHGs.

Oregon Economic Analysis 

By Claudia Keith


The Oregon Economic and Revenue Forecast was released Feb 22. The Oregon Office of Economic Analysis has continued to ignore the recommended SEC Climate Risk disclosure rule. SEC Chair Responds to Questions on Potential Lawsuit on Climate Disclosure, Fast Paced Rulemaking | ThomasReuters. Legislators urge SEC chair to finalize climate disclosure rule | Financial Regulation News.

See supportive SEC disclosure LWVOR-initiated LWVUS Testimony, June 2022. 


Oregon Treasury

By Claudia Keith


It is unclear how Oregon Treasury / Treasurer Tobias will assist with addressing the $27B Federal funds, contingent on formation of an Oregon Green Bank Up To $27B Available for NPO Clean Energy Activities - The NonProfit Times, Colorado’s green bank mobilizes $118 million in clean energy projects and infrastructure statewide | EIN News


HB 2601 Oregon FF Divestment: The League provided supportive testimony for Fossil Fuel (FF) Divestment: … Requires State Treasurer to address the urgency and risk associated with Fossil Fuel energy investments. Chief Sponsors: Rep Pham K, Senator Golden, Rep Gamba. Bill Calls for Oregon to Divest From Fossil Fuels | Chief Investment Officer CIO.


 Climate Related Lawsuits: Oregon and…

By Claudia Keith


Numerous lawsuits are challenging Oregon’s DEQ CPP regulations. Here is one example of how to track them. Basically, there are a number of active state and federal lawsuits, (March 2023 update) some of which could assist in meeting Oregon's Net Zero GHG Emissions before 2050 targets and other lawsuits, which challenge current Oregon DEQ CPP policy, which would limit the use of fossil fuels, including diesel, natural gas, and propane over time.


Another source: Columbia University Law - Sabin Climate DB lists 62 lawsuits with OREGON mentioned. Climate lawsuits: How dangerous are they for businesses? |TBS.


Oregon and PNW News


Oregon State University researching method to trap carbon dioxide in building materials | News | Oregon Delegation Announces an Additional $6 Million for Major Energy Efficiency Upgrades at PDX | U.S. Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon


National & Global

The Scientific Breakthrough That Could Make Batteries Last Longer – WSJ. Senator Whitehouse Puts Climate Change on Budget Committee’s Agenda - The New York Times. Yellen warns climate change may trigger losses in US | The Hill. The Climate Gap and the Color Line — Racial Health Inequities and Climate Change | NEJM. Short-distance migration critical for climate change adaptation – ScienceDaily. A climate education bill, spearheaded by teachers and students, gets a spotlight in Salem - Climate change: New idea for sucking up CO2 from air shows promise - BBC News


Volunteers Needed 


By Claudia Keith


Request to Local Leagues; please let us know your climate, resilience, or sustainability advocacy actions. Please consider joining the CE portfolio team; we lack volunteers in these critical policy and law areas:


  • Natural and Working lands, specifically Agriculture/ODA

  • Climate Related Lawsuits/Our Children’s Trust

  • Public Health Climate Adaptation (OHA)

  • Regional Solutions / Infrastructure (with NR team)

  • State Procurement Practices (DAS: Dept. of Admin. Services) 

  • CE Portfolio State Agency and Commission Budgets


We collaborate with Natural Resource Action members on many Climate Change mitigation and adaptation policy topics. Volunteers are needed: The 2023 legislative session began Jan 17. If any area of Climate Emergency interests you, please contact Claudia Keith, CE Coordinator. Orientation to Legislative and State Agency advocacy processes is available.

bottom of page